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My Angels are Such Jerks – A Guest Post by Janine Ashbless

“What more dangerous attribute could you possibly inflict upon a being of vast power than testosterone?”

In Bonds of the Earth

When I started writing Cover Him With Darkness and its sequel In Bonds of the Earth, the only thing I was sure of was that, even though this series is an erotic romance thriller, my angels were NOT going to be just hot dudes with wings. My job was to work out what they were.

I thought I’d cut it back to basics. My source material for the trilogy is the Bible and The Book of Enoch—which was basically ancient Jewish fanfic based on Genesis Chapter 6.

I established in CHWD that angels aren’t naturally human in form—they took human shape in prehistory to interact with us. What did they look like as spirits? Here’s a clue – the word Seraphim (“burning ones”) is mostly used in the Old Testament to mean poisonous serpents! So my angels are at the root of worldwide dragon mythology.

Having taken physical human form they found themselves unexpectedly loaded with human instincts and emotions: aggression, lust, an urge for independence, romantic love, anger, physical pleasure and emotional pain. It was all very hard for them to cope with! My angels have big emotions. These can seem almost childishly simple. They need love above all, and if cut off from the Love of God they have to have human love to sustain their lives. But they never had to navigate the complexities of growing up, so they have no subconscious insecurities or mixed feelings or social conditioning as to boundaries. No emotional intelligence, in fact.

Some stayed in human shape, took human lovers and Fell from Divine Favor; they taught humanity all sorts of stuff we weren’t supposed to know like magic and metalworking. Oh, and the women they slept with became what the Book of Enoch calls “sirens”— so that happens slowly to my heroine Milja too. The first sign is when she finds she can’t cry…

Not one of my fallen angels is what I’d call evil (not even Satan, who has a complex hidden agenda that Milja is starting to recognize in IBotE). But even the ones with the best intentions are the last word in entitlement. My fallen angels have been imprisoned since the Bronze Age. Human civilization and culture have changed beyond anything they could have imagined, and when they are freed they struggle to catch up. Sexual consent is a novel concept. “Human Rights” is pretty much beyond their grasp—why should humans, or anything, have rights?

So my fallen angel Azazel struggles desperately with his relationship with Milja, though he loves her crazily. She keeps asking him not to kill people, even when trying to protect her—Weird! She wants him to be monogamous, and he’s all, “Well I don’t see the point but if it makes you happy…” Which is fine until he realizes that she’s also in love with a human man. If there’s one thing that flips Azazel’s switches to rage, it’s hypocrisy…

I do love my confused, demanding, arrogant, hot-hearted angels. I just wouldn’t want to meet one!

xxx

Janine Ashbless

*****

Excerpt:

Wrapping the cheap cotton throw from the foot of the bed around my bare body, I padded through to the doorway. The Archangel Michael stood in the middle of my small apartment, looking about him at the book shelves and the pictures. A paperback copy of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo slipped from his hand back onto the low table.

“Hello, Milja. Nice place. Has he moved his toothbrush in yet?”

It was like waking to find a giant bird of prey in my tiny living room; he looked wildly unsuited to a domestic setting and way too big for it, even with wings furled. In fact, with that Roman nose and those unblinking amber eyes, there was something distinctly golden eagle-like about him. If he stretched out he could knock over walls, I thought.

“What do you think you’re doing?” I asked. “This is my home. You can’t just come barging in!”

“You’re right,” he said, looking startled. “I have to have your permission. No, hold on, wait…that’s vampires. Shame.”

I pursed my lips. “Well, God certainly did not hold back on the sarcasm when he made you guys.”

He smirked. If you’re that good-looking, even a less-than-warm smile can be a weapon of devastating charm. Turning to the couch, he sat down with arms draped over the back and knees spread. It was not so much an invitation as a claiming of territory.

“What do you want?” I kept my voice hard, even as I thought of the icon of Saint Michael that had stood guard over the key in my father’s church. That holy painting had always made me feel nervous as a child, and he was no less intimidating in the flesh. His piercing gaze rested lightly upon me, with all the gentleness of a sword-point.

“Nothing.”

His rigger boots were caked in dried mud, I noticed, and flaking on my rug. I wished he would blink. It still creeped me out, even though Azazel should have inured me to it. “Angels aren’t supposed to lie. What are you doing here?”

“Waiting.”

“So, what…you’re sitting guard over me until Azazel comes back? Is that your plan?”

“He’s too much of a coward to face me. Runs every time.”

“If that’s the way you want to call it.”

He looked at the kitchen door. “I see you have a kettle. You got any tea? I like that Earl Grey stuff. Tastes like flowers.”

“I know the rules, you know. You can’t actually do anything to me.”

“True enough. And I’m not stopping you leaving, if that’s worrying you.”

“I can move out. Get a new place.”

“That’s fine, I’ll find you. This apartment’s a bit small for the two of us, to be honest.”

I clenched my jaw, weighing my options. “Okay,” I said, and dropped my wrap to reveal my naked body, in all its post-coital salty glow.

That wiped the smile off his lips. “Don’t play those games,” he growled, sitting up and looking away from me.

Love is Azazel’s weak spot. Shame is theirs. They’re terrified of their own human flesh.

“What? Does this make you uncomfortable? That’s a pity, seeing as how it’s my house and I like to walk around it naked.”

“You are shameless.” His gaze was sliding all over the place, not daring to settle on me.

“I’ve got nothing to be ashamed of.” I hefted my breasts and jiggled them. “They’re my tits. In my apartment. If you don’t want to see, clear out.”

“Put your robe back on,” he rasped.

“Oops,” I said. “Did I drop it?” Turning my back to him, I spread my feet and, straight-legged, bent over to pick the fabric up again. Nice and slow…

He moved so fast he’d launched me across the room and onto my bed before I even realized he was out of his seat. The abused mattress twanged in alarm. It knocked the wind out of me—and more than that, shocked me half to death. I wasn’t in the least bit hurt, not even bruised, but I hadn’t expected him to touch me at all, under the rules. Maybe the Boatman sailed closer to the wind than I’d bargained for.

“Don’t do that, whore!” he barked, leaning into my face. He looked furious. I knew why. It takes a human decades to learn how to deal with all the things that come with an adult body—all those hormones and instincts—without losing control. Angels never had the advantage of a gradual introduction.

I had two choices: surrender or fight. I bared my teeth and snarled right back at him, matching his rage and contempt. “Or what? You’re going to rape me? ’Cause I think that might just count as a fall from Grace, don’t you? And then you’d be royally fucked, Mister Michael.”

He recoiled, drawing himself up in undisguised horror. I took advantage of the gap between us to roll over and pull the drawer of my bedside cabinet open, pulling out the silicon rabbit sex toy I’d been given at my graduation party. I hadn’t used it in months, I couldn’t even remember if there were any batteries in it, and I certainly wasn’t feeling horny, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me.

“Wanna watch?” I asked, spreading my legs wide. “Because that’s what us girls do when we’re home alone these modern days. You can go into the other room if it squicks you out to see. Then you’ll only have to listen to the noises I make.”

He turned on his heel and stomped away, slamming his hands into the doorframe hard enough to crack the wood. But he didn’t leave altogether. He was just that bit too stubborn.

*****

In Bonds of the EarthBlurb:

“I will free them all.”

When Milja Petak released the fallen angel Azazel from five thousand years of imprisonment, she did it out of love and pity. She found herself in a passionate sexual relationship beyond her imagining and control – the beloved plaything of a dark and furious demon who takes what he wants, when he wants, and submits to no restraint. But what she hasn’t bargained on is being drawn into his plan to free all his incarcerated brothers and wage a war against the Powers of Heaven.

As Azazel drags Milja across the globe in search of his fellow rebel angels, Milja fights to hold her own in a situation where every decision has dire consequences. Pursued by the loyal Archangels, she is forced to make alliances with those she cannot trust: the mysterious Roshana Veisi, who has designs of her own upon Azazel; and Egan Kansky, special forces agent of the Vatican – the man who once saved then betrayed her, who loves her, and who will do anything he can to imprison Azazel for all eternity.

Torn every way by love, by conflicting loyalties and by her own passions, Milja finds that she too is changing – and that she must do things she could not previously have dreamt of in order to save those who matter to her.

In Bonds of the Earth is the second in the Book of the Watchers trilogy and the sequel to Cover Him With Darkness.

 

Buy links:

Ebook:

Amazon

Apple

Kobo

Google Play

Barnes and Noble

 

Print:

Support your small publisher and buy direct

Waterstones

Barnes and Noble

Amazon

 

Goodreads

*****

Janine AshblessAuthor bio:

Janine Ashbless is a writer of fantasy erotica and steamy romantic adventure. She likes to write about magic and myth and mystery, dangerous power dynamics, borderline terror, and the not-quite-human.

Buyer beware! If you like dark romance and a hard-won Happily Ever After, try “Cover Him with Darkness,” “Heart of Flame,” or “The King’s Viper.” If you prefer challenging erotica, go for “Red Grow the Roses” or “Named and Shamed” instead. All her other books lie somewhere on the spectrum between.

Janine has been seeing her books in print ever since 2000. She’s also had numerous short stories published by Black Lace, Nexus, Cleis Press, Ravenous Romance, Harlequin Spice, Storm Moon, Xcite, Mischief Books, and Ellora’s Cave among others. She is co-editor of the nerd erotica anthology ‘Geek Love’.

Born in Wales, Janine now lives in the North of England with her husband and two rescued greyhounds. She has worked as a cleaner, library assistant, computer programmer, local government tree officer, and – for five years of muddy feet and shouting – as a full-time costumed Viking. Janine loves goatee beards, ancient ruins, minotaurs, trees, mummies, having her cake and eating it, and holidaying in countries with really bad public sewerage.

Her work has been described as:

“Hardcore and literate” (Madeline Moore) and “Vivid and tempestuous and dangerous, and bursting with sacrifice, death and love.” (Portia Da Costa).

You can find Janine on Facebook or at her website or blog.

Author picture credit to David Woolfall.

*****

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Blog tour organized by Writer Marketing Services.

 

Why Angels? Janine Ashbless Discusses Her New Release, In Bonds of the Earth

In Bonds of the EarthIt’s an absolute pleasure to have one of my favourite writers on my blog today. Please welcome Janine Ashbless as she talks about her new release, In Bonds of the Earth, the 2nd instalment of her Book of the Watchers trilogy. I asked Janine why she chose to write about angels, and here’s what she had to say.

Why Angels?

Janine Ashbless

“The story as I know it isn’t told from the point of view of the guys in the white hats. Azazel is one of the damned. Which means, I guess, that I am too.”

— In Bonds of the Earth

I’m no stranger to using mythology in my erotica and erotic romance. I’ve taken inspiration from Celtic, Greek, Islamic, Hindu, French, Persian, East European and Ancient Sumerian myths and folklore lore … and that’s just off the top of my head.

And since my first Medusa story in my very first collection back in 2000, my subtext has been “The gods are a right bunch of bastards.”

But with my Book of the Watchers trilogy about fallen angels, I got to grips for the first time with Judeo-Christian mythology. Now I come from a born-again Protestant family background myself, so in many ways I was familiar with the tropes – but I also discovered I had a lot to learn.

And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. – Genesis 6: 1-2

Now isn’t that just crying out for an erotic novel spin-off?!

Angels (the “sons of God,”) are intermediaries and messengers between God and humanity. We are made, according to the writers of Psalms and Hebrews, “a little lower than the angels.” So they’re presumably better than us, or more powerful, or both. They can appear in naturalistic human form (like they did to visit Lot in the city of Sodom) but according to Ezekiel’s crazy visions of heaven, and The Revelation of St. John, they’re not naturally humanoid – they’re described in terms of wings and eyes and wheels turning within wheels, flames and chimerical animals.

Yet clearly, when human, they’re capable of human lust. Now that is a writer’s dream – the warring instincts of the spiritual and the physical; obedience to God versus personal desires; the fraught relationship between angel masters and human wives and children; the whole question of free will and original sin. In fact, Biblically, angels have a pretty poor track record of obedience (just like humans!). Since Satan is held in Christian belief to be a former angel, clearly they are capable of rebellion. He’s supposed to have led legions into the Fall from Heaven!

Now that’s really interesting.

Imagine you’re an angel. You’ve been in the actual presence of God and know all its manifold joys. You know first hand His omniscience, His glory, His justice, all the infinite riches of Heaven. And yet, despite having no hope of winning any fight with Almighty God, you choose to rebel.

You. Choose. To Rebel. Anyway.

Why?

That’s fascinating, from a writer’s point of view. Characters with complex backgrounds, conflicting desires and warring motivations are irresistible. Add to that the theme of angels and humans engaged in sexual relationships and trying to understand each other despite all their differences, and well… I may have found my perfect subject matter.

(Also, when I’m looking for inspiration, this sort of thing doesn’t hurt )

 

 

Xxx

Janine

 

Would you defy God, for love?

 

Broad at the shoulders and lean at the hips, six foot-and-then-something of ropey muscle, he looks like a Spartan god who got lost in a thrift store. He moves like ink through water. And his eyes, when you get a good look at them, are silver. Not gray. Silver. You might take their inhuman shine for fancy contact lenses. Youd be wrong.

 

Janine Ashbless is back with the second in her paranormal erotic romance Book of the Watchers trilogy: In Bonds of the Earth.

 

Unafraid to tackle the more complex issues surrounding good and evil in mainstream religion, Janine has created a thought-provoking and immersive novel which sets a new standard for paranormal erotic romance. The first in the series, Cover Him With Darkness, was released in 2014 by Cleis Press and received outstanding reviews.

 

In Bonds of the Earth is published by Sinful Press and is due for release on March 1st, 2017.

 

In Bonds of the Earth Blurb:

“I will free them all.”

 

When Milja Petak released the fallen angel Azazel from five thousand years of imprisonment, she did it out of love and pity. She found herself in a passionate sexual relationship beyond her imagining and control – the beloved plaything of a dark and furious demon who takes what he wants, when he wants, and submits to no restraint. But what she hasn’t bargained on is being drawn into his plan to free all his incarcerated brothers and wage a war against the Powers of Heaven.

As Azazel drags Milja across the globe in search of his fellow rebel angels, Milja fights to hold her own in a situation where every decision has dire consequences. Pursued by the loyal Archangels, she is forced to make alliances with those she cannot trust: the mysterious Roshana Veisi, who has designs of her own upon Azazel; and Egan Kansky, special forces agent of the Vatican – the man who once saved then betrayed her, who loves her, and who will do anything he can to imprison Azazel for all eternity.

 

Torn every way by love, by conflicting loyalties and by her own passions, Milja finds that she too is changing – and that she must do things she could not previously have dreamt of in order to save those who matter to her.

 

In Bonds of the Earth is the second in the Book of the Watchers trilogy and the sequel to Cover Him With Darkness.

 

 

In Bonds of the Earth Excerpt:

 

I was giving my long-dreaded presentation on the anniversary footbridge to Misters Ellis, Singh, Constanzo and Mackenzie…when Azazel walked in.

Oh hell.

“Excuse me, gentlemen,” I said loudly, lurching around from behind my desk, grabbing Azazel’s arm and spinning him back to face the door. “Not here, come on, please,” I implored through clenched teeth.

If there was one thing I’d learned by then, it was to not ignore warning dreams. If I’d paid them more attention from the start, things between me and Egan might have gone very differently back in Montenegro…

No, better not to think of Egan, not when Azazel was around. One guy at a time was quite enough to wrap my head around. Especially this guy.

He humored me though, this time, letting me pull him out of the meeting room and through the open plan office without resistance. We attracted a lot of stares, but there was nothing I could do about that except hold my head high.

“Where are we going?” he asked.

“Out. Anywhere.”

“You’re so impetuous.”

I didn’t need to glance up at his wicked smirk. I could feel it burning its way into my breast.

Bryce, the beardy guy in my new team who’d shown me the ropes of the job and seemed just a tiny bit too eager to talk every morning, stood up from his cubicle to intercept us. “Milja, is everything okay?”

“It’s just fine,” I rasped, towing Azazel faster.

“She’s insatiable,” my demon lover confided with a helpless shrug to my colleague as we swept past.

Bryce stared, mouth open.

“Goddamnit,” I muttered, and Azazel chuckled.

Sometimes it was hard to remember that he’d risked everything to save me.

We reached the doors at the end of the room and I pushed through, past the lobby with the elevators and into the concrete stairwell of the emergency stairs beyond. The only people who came here were smokers on their way to the roof, and it looked empty for now. My panicky momentum fizzled away and I swung to face him.

“What are you doing here?”

“What do you think?” he countered, taking my face in his hands.

“Azazel—” But he cut off my protests with his hungry kiss; a kiss that lanced through me all the way to my core. I gave up resisting, and speaking, and almost breathing, as his lust rolled over me in a hot wet wave. I slid my hands around his neck and tangled my fingers in his messy hair, pulling myself into his embrace. His body was hard as rock, his hands heavy on my waist and hips. The yearning for his touch that smoldered in my flesh day and night woke to a roaring heat.

I’d missed him. His skin, his smile, the peppery scent and salt taste of him. The sweetness of his lips and the harsh rasp of his stubbled chin. I’d missed him so much—like an addict missing her hit.

 

Buy In Bonds of the Earth Here:

Ebook:

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bonds-Earth-Book-Watchers-ebook/dp/B01N6W7EL4

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Bonds-Earth-Book-Watchers-ebook/dp/B01N6W7EL4

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/in-bonds-of-the-earth/id1201654085?mt=11

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/in-bonds-of-the-earth

 

Print:

Sinful Press: https://sinfulpress.co.uk/product/in-bonds-of-the-earth-by-janine-ashbless/

Waterstones: https://www.waterstones.com/book/in-bonds-of-the-earth/janine-ashbless/9781910908082

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/in-bonds-of-the-earth-janine-ashbless/1125264279?ean=9781910908082

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bonds-Earth-Book-Watchers/dp/1910908088

 

In Bonds of the Earth will be available from all major online bookstores in both digital and print. Please contact Lisa Jenkins at admin@sinfulpress.co.uk for any further information.

 

About Janine:

Janine AshblessJanine Ashbless is a writer of fantasy erotica and steamy romantic adventure. She likes to write about magic and myth and mystery, dangerous power dynamics, borderline terror, and the not-quite-human.

 

Janine has been seeing her books in print ever since 2000. She’s also had numerous short stories published by Black Lace, Nexus, Cleis Press, Ravenous Romance, Harlequin Spice, Storm Moon, Xcite, Mischief Books, and Ellora’s Cave among others. She is co-editor of the nerd erotica anthology ‘Geek Love’.

 

Born in Wales, Janine now lives in the North of England with her husband and two rescued greyhounds. She has worked as a cleaner, library assistant, computer programmer, local government tree officer, and – for five years of muddy feet and shouting – as a full-time costumed Viking. Janine loves goatee beards, ancient ruins, minotaurs, trees, mummies, having her cake and eating it, and holidaying in countries with really bad public sewerage.

 

Her work has been described as:

“Hardcore and literate” (Madeline Moore) and “Vivid and tempestuous and dangerous, and bursting with sacrifice, death and love.” (Portia Da Costa)

 

Find Janine Here:

Janine Ashbless website: http://www.janineashbless.com/

Janine Ashbless blog: http://janineashbless.blogspot.co.uk/

Janine Ashbless on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/janineashbless

Sinful Press website: https://www.sinfulpress.co.uk

 

 

Coming Soon – In Bonds of the Earth, the second Book of the Watchers by Janine Ashbless (@sinfulpress)

Would you defy God, for love?

In Bonds of the Earth is the new paranormal erotic romance by Janine Ashbless, and is the second in the Book of the Watchers trilogy.

Broad at the shoulders and lean at the hips, six foot-and-then-something of ropey muscle, he looks like a Spartan god who got lost in a thrift store. He moves like ink through water. And his eyes, when you get a good look at them, are silver. Not gray. Silver. You might take their inhuman shine for fancy contact lenses. Youd be wrong.

Janine Ashbless is back with the second in her Book of the Watchers trilogy, In Bonds of the Earth.

Milja Patek’s bloodline were sworn to guard the fallen angel imprisoned beneath their family church, until Milja fell in love and set him free. Now she has to learn to navigate her new life as wife and plaything to Azazel.

Angel or demon, protector or tyrant, right or wrong, Everything Milja once knew has been flipped upside down and all she can do is follow her heart, even if that means waging war against Heaven and releasing the rest of the fallen.

Unafraid to tackle the more complex issues surrounding good and evil in mainstream religion, Janine has created a thought-provoking and immersive novel which sets a new standard for paranormal erotic romance. The first in the series, Cover Him With Darkness, was released in 2014 by Cleis Press and received outstanding reviews.

In Bonds of the Earth is published by Sinful Press and is due for release on March 1st, 2017.

Amazon (universal link): http://mybook.to/IBOTE

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32996475-in-bonds-of-the-earth

Paperback – support your small publishers and order direct. Paperback will be posted 3 weeks before release date: https://sinfulpress.co.uk/product/in-bonds-of-the-earth-by-janine-ashbless/

*****

In Bonds of the EarthBlurb:

“I will free them all.”

When Milja Petak released the fallen angel Azazel from five thousand years of imprisonment, she did it out of love and pity. She found herself in a passionate sexual relationship beyond her imagining and control – the beloved plaything of a dark and furious demon who takes what he wants, when he wants, and submits to no restraint. But what she hasn’t bargained on is being drawn into his plan to free all his incarcerated brothers and wage a war against the Powers of Heaven.

As Azazel drags Milja across the globe in search of his fellow rebel angels, Milja fights to hold her own in a situation where every decision has dire consequences. Pursued by the loyal Archangels, she is forced to make alliances with those she cannot trust: the mysterious Roshana Veisi, who has designs of her own upon Azazel; and Egan Kansky, special forces agent of the Vatican – the man who once saved then betrayed her, who loves her, and who will do anything he can to imprison Azazel for all eternity.

Torn every way by love, by conflicting loyalties and by her own passions, Milja finds that she too is changing – and that she must do things she could not previously have dreamt of in order to save those who matter to her.

In Bonds of the Earth is the second in the Book of the Watchers trilogy and the sequel to Cover Him With Darkness.

******

Excerpt from In Bonds of the Earth:

I was giving my long-dreaded presentation on the anniversary footbridge to Misters Ellis, Singh, Constanzo and Mackenzie…when Azazel walked in.

Oh hell.

“Excuse me, gentlemen,” I said loudly, lurching around from behind my desk, grabbing Azazel’s arm and spinning him back to face the door. “Not here, come on, please,” I implored through clenched teeth.

If there was one thing I’d learned by then, it was to not ignore warning dreams. If I’d paid them more attention from the start, things between me and Egan might have gone very differently back in Montenegro…

No, better not to think of Egan, not when Azazel was around. One guy at a time was quite enough to wrap my head around. Especially this guy.

He humored me though, this time, letting me pull him out of the meeting room and through the open plan office without resistance. We attracted a lot of stares, but there was nothing I could do about that except hold my head high.

“Where are we going?” he asked.

“Out. Anywhere.”

“You’re so impetuous.”

I didn’t need to glance up at his wicked smirk. I could feel it burning its way into my breast.

Bryce, the beardy guy in my new team who’d shown me the ropes of the job and seemed just a tiny bit too eager to talk every morning, stood up from his cubicle to intercept us. “Milja, is everything okay?”

“It’s just fine,” I rasped, towing Azazel faster.

“She’s insatiable,” my demon lover confided with a helpless shrug to my colleague as we swept past.

Bryce stared, mouth open.

“Goddamnit,” I muttered, and Azazel chuckled.

Sometimes it was hard to remember that he’d risked everything to save me.

We reached the doors at the end of the room and I pushed through, past the lobby with the elevators and into the concrete stairwell of the emergency stairs beyond. The only people who came here were smokers on their way to the roof, and it looked empty for now. My panicky momentum fizzled away and I swung to face him.

“What are you doing here?”

“What do you think?” he countered, taking my face in his hands.

“Azazel—” But he cut off my protests with his hungry kiss; a kiss that lanced through me all the way to my core. I gave up resisting, and speaking, and almost breathing, as his lust rolled over me in a hot wet wave. I slid my hands around his neck and tangled my fingers in his messy hair, pulling myself into his embrace. His body was hard as rock, his hands heavy on my waist and hips. The yearning for his touch that smoldered in my flesh day and night woke to a roaring heat.

I’d missed him. His skin, his smile, the peppery scent and salt taste of him. The sweetness of his lips and the harsh rasp of his stubbled chin. I’d missed him so much. Like an addict missing her hit.

*****

Author bio:

Janine Ashbless is a writer of fantasy erotica and steamy romantic adventure. She likes to write about magic and myth and mystery, dangerous power dynamics, borderline terror, and the not-quite-human.

Buyer beware! If you like dark romance and a hard-won Happily Ever After, try “Cover Him with Darkness,” “Heart of Flame,” or “The King’s Viper.” If you prefer challenging erotica, go for “Red Grow the Roses” or “Named and Shamed” instead. All her other books lie somewhere on the spectrum between.

Janine has been seeing her books in print ever since 2000. She’s also had numerous short stories published by Black Lace, Nexus, Cleis Press, Ravenous Romance, Harlequin Spice, Storm Moon, Xcite, Mischief Books, and Ellora’s Cave among others. She is co-editor of the nerd erotica anthology ‘Geek Love’.

Born in Wales, Janine now lives in the North of England with her husband and two rescued greyhounds. She has worked as a cleaner, library assistant, computer programmer, local government tree officer, and – for five years of muddy feet and shouting – as a full-time costumed Viking. Janine loves goatee beards, ancient ruins, minotaurs, trees, mummies, having her cake and eating it, and holidaying in countries with really bad public sewerage.

Her work has been described as:

“Hardcore and literate” (Madeline Moore) and “Vivid and tempestuous and dangerous, and bursting with sacrifice, death and love.” (Portia Da Costa)

Links:

Janine Ashbless website: http://www.janineashbless.com/

Janine Ashbless on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/janineashbless

Sinful Press website: https://www.sinfulpress.co.uk

Pre-order blitz organized by Writer Marketing Services.

 

Janine Ashbless Had a Dream — Writing the Lovers’ Wheel Books

FallingDeep (4)I’m so excited to welcome Janine Ashbless to mine on the release day of Falling Deep, Book 2 of her fabulous Lover’s Wheel Series. I love discovering what inspired people to write their stories, and Janine is going to tell us just that. Welcome, Janine!

 

I Had a Dream – writing the Lovers’ Wheel Books

One night some decades ago, probably before I was even a writer, I had a dream so real and so emotionally powerful that I’ve never forgotten it. I dreamed that I was standing at the gates of a big old house somewhere in the English countryside. The grounds were so overgrown that the gates were almost choked shut with brambles and weeds, but when I scrambled through and made my way up the drive I found that the house was still occupied despite being decayed. In fact it was a retirement home, with old people sitting around in wheelchairs, dozing and playing chess. Then I realized that these old men were the disguised King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, who had retreated here to await in secret the last call to battle when England would need their heroes again.

That was it. That’s all I dreamed.

Years later, this became the seed for the Lovers’ Wheel quartet I’m currently writing for Ellora’s Cave.

Now I know roughly where the idea grew from. All my childhood I’d been reading stories from authors like Susan Cooper, Alan Garner, and Diana Wynne Jones, in which the nice cosy English countryside was a place where lurked gods and elves and Ancient Powers pretending to be human, just biding their time and perhaps waiting to be woken by plucky middle class school children on holiday. I LOVED those books! I wanted to write a wondrous story about a girl who discovers a hidden world of magical adventure, a girl who is marked for a special destiny, a girl whose choices decide the fate of the world.

Only I wanted to write the adult version, with really dirty sex and way more moral greyness.

So Lovers’ Wheel is about Liz, who goes to stay with her Great-aunt Moira at spooky old Enniswitrin House in Somerset, and finds that she’s been picked for the noble task of fucking each of the Twelve Months of the Year in turn, to keep the seasons turning. But being Chosen isn’t nearly as nice or as vanilla as she’s been lead to believe, especially as the Brothers start to lead her into the darker half of the year.

As for Arthur – yeah, he’s there too! Read Summer Seduction and Falling Deep to find out about him. And I promise that When Winter Comes and Joys of Spring will complete the cycle of the year in due course…

xxx

Janine

 

Falling Deep Blurb:

Book 2 of the Lovers’ Wheel series.

Liz is reeling with shock. She has just discovered that her Great-aunt Moira’s spooky old house is the last disguised remnant of mystical Avalon, and that Moira has been manipulating her into initiation as an immortal sorceress serving the old powers of nature.

Liz’s ordained role is to turn the Wheel of the Year through the seasons by having sex with each of the Twelve Months in turn. The Brothers of the Fall appear to be hot and handsome men, but they are far more daunting than their summer predecessors. Liz now faces three new avatars who are increasingly dominant and kinky. As the year turns inexorably toward the darkness, Liz must embrace the allure of total submission and give them complete control of her sexuality.

Inside Scoop: Liz explores a wide range of erotic experiences, including light bondage and brief f/f touching.

Reader Advisory: This story has graphic sexual language and scenes—no closed bedroom doors (or other rooms) here!

A paranormal erotica story from Ellora’s Cave

 

 An Official Excerpt From: FALLING DEEP

Copyright © JANINE ASHBLESS, 2016

All Rights Reserved, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.

 

She was on the train again. The one that had brought her to Somerset and to Raskelf village and to Enniswitrin House, all the way back in June. She recognized the blue seat covers of the Great Western Railway and the patronizing safety notice on the bulkhead of the carriage, and the cardboard coffee cups abandoned on the little tables. Only, this time it was dusk and she was completely alone. There were no bags on the overhead racks, and no other travelers in the seats. Outside, through the long windows, the world passed in a gray-green blur.

Looking down at herself, she saw the nineteen-fifties style dress she had worn for the Midsummer dance. But she remembered the black skirt and white blouse she’d really worn that morning, and she remembered the lion. Just not how she’d gotten there.

Yet it all seemed far away and unimportant.

I’m dreaming again. I wonder if he’ll turn up this time?

Rising to her feet, Liz walked down toward the end of the carriage, glancing into each seat as she passed. She could feel the vehicle swaying beneath her, and hear the click of the points as the wheels passed over. It sounded like hoofbeats. The muted roar of steel and wind outside made her think of a great crowd of people faintly heard at a distance. People shouting and banging things together. A clashing of metal.

Where have I heard that before? What does it remind me of?

There were no other passengers hiding behind the tall seat backs. Reaching the door, which failed to open automatically for her, Liz peered through the smoked glass. She should have been able to see a matching door at the entrance to the next carriage, and maybe a toilet cubicle. All she could make out were dark forms in rapid, jerky motion against a background nearly as dark. Flags, she thought. And horses. Those are horse heads. Like a whole crowd of riders are stampeding past. No, it’s a battle.

“Did you tell her?”

Liz jumped. Three rows away, exactly where she was sure there’d been no one at all, stood the black-clad figure of the man with the dark red hair that she’d seen in her last train dream. The one she’d been expecting. Mr. Foxy, she’d labeled him. He stood with arms folded and his butt—an exceptionally fine, tight ass as she remembered—propped against the side of a seat. Liz felt an instant rush of arousal and dread course through her body.

“Did you tell Moira, as you promised?” he asked again. There was an edge in his voice, and those blue eyes burned under angled brows.

“Yes.” She nodded rapidly, relieved to be able to report it. “He’s trying to wake up.” That had been the message she’d been charged with. Okay, so she’d only passed it on after weeks of delay, but at least she’d done it in the end. She felt somehow that she didn’t want to break a promise to this man.

“What did she say?” Unfurling his arms, he shifted until he was standing to block the aisle, one hand on a headrest, either side. She’d thought him a surfer dude or a climber, the first time she’d seen him, based on his body type and his untidy hair and his outdoor-sports manner of dress. His demeanor, though, was more military interrogation than civilian. His tense body loomed like an exclamation mark.

Squirming inside and trying hard to hide it, Liz cast her mind back to her recent argument with Moira. “Nothing really. She looked pretty upset though.” She looked awful.

“Did she say what she’d do?”

Summer Seduction“She didn’t say anything! Except, uh…she asked how I knew. That’s all.” It wasn’t quite the whole truth. Their argument had certainly ratcheted up a notch after that. She swallowed hard, drawing up the old stories nibbling in the undercurrent of her mind. “If he’s King Arthur—the old guy sleeping upstairs—and she’s his sister, does that make her, like, Morgan le Fay? The witch?”

For a moment he held her gaze with his fierce eyes, and then he looked abruptly aside. She could see the muscles bunched in his jaw and the tension in his neck. Then he nodded curtly. “The Queen of Northgales.”

“Some queen. The old cow tricked me!” Liz’s complaint did not burn as hot as it had when she was awake. “She set me up with Shane and now she’s telling me I can’t stop or we’re all in big trouble. She says she wants me to save the world…or keep it going, anyway. Turning the year over.”

“So?”

“Can you believe something that crazy? That the world depends on who I’m humping? Like I’ve got some kind of a…magic pussy?”

He shrugged, which riled her.

“What does that mean?”

“It means it’s nothing to do with me.”

“So what am I doing here, on this train?”

“This what?” It came out through clenched teeth.

“This train to Somerset. Intercity.”

His mouth pulled taut. “Perhaps you are between stations.”

“I fell down a bank. There was a lion in the garden, and it chased me.” She licked her lips. “That sounds much less likely than being on a train,” she admitted. “Maybe that bit was the dream.”

He arched one eyebrow, studying her. “Have you been initiated yet?”

“Initiated? Oh, you mean—” As an Argante. She shook her head. “No way.”

“Then you cannot command the lion.”

“But I don’t want to command it.”

“Then it will eat you. That is the way of the world, Liz Haven.”

“I just want to have my own life, that’s all!”

He grimaced, and when he said, “As do I,” the words were thick with bitterness and regret. He’d seemed so dominant the last time they’d met, sexual charisma pouring from him like a wave that swept her feet from beneath her. But now that force was all pent up within him, his every muscle clenched.

“Are you in trouble?”

He laughed. “I’m in hell.”

“Can I do anything to help?” she whispered. It was not entirely compassion that prompted her. Feelings in dreams were stronger, wilder and more imperative than waking thoughts. Unhampered by rational checks and balances, they had a momentum all their own, and her attraction to him was impossible to ignore.

“I don’t know,” he answered, capturing her in the sapphire net of his eyes once more. “Can you?”

She felt her heart jump as if he’d cracked a whip. But even he was surprised when she took a step forward and sank to her knees before him.

Why am I doing this? she wondered as she laid her hands on the coarse black cloth of his jeans. But she knew the answer already. It was pure lust, burning like a bright coal at the meeting point of her thighs. Her deepest urges were taking command.

He made a noise in his throat that has half surprise and half appreciation. The button fly under her questing fingers suddenly overlay a bulge that had not been there before, and Liz felt a rush of pleasure.

“I mean, this’ll help, won’t it?” she asked, made confident enough by his body’s response to lift her eyes and question him, even as her fingers plucked the stiff buttons.

“I… Liz, no,” he answered, his voice huskier even than before. There was a look on his face she had not seen before and it gave her great satisfaction to see his black brows hooked up like that. She’d taken him by surprise. He’d not anticipated that, and for a moment he was not the one in control. He looked almost afraid.

Liz smiled.

He wasn’t wearing underwear. His cock fell eagerly into her grasp from the V of his jeans, warm and silky, and he had to set his stance a fraction wider to stop his clothes sliding down those long hard thighs. She cradled his length in her palm, squeezing it encouragingly.

You look delicious. I want to eat you.

“Liz, I can’t.”

“Rubbish,” she told him firmly.

 

 *****

Buy Falling Deep & Summer Seduction Here:

 

Falling Deep at Amazon US:

http://www.amazon.com/Falling-Lovers-Wheel-Janine-Ashbless-ebook/dp/B01C639HPC/ref=sr_1_1

Falling Deep at Amazon UK:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01C639HPC

Summer Seduction (Lovers’ Wheel Book 1) at Amazon US:

http://www.amazon.com/Summer-Seduction-1-Janine-Ashbless-ebook/dp/B00OTU9SEQ/ref=sr_1_1

Summer Seduction (Lovers’ Wheel Book 1) at Amazon UK:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Summer-Seduction-1-Janine-Ashbless-ebook/dp/B00OTU9SEQ/ref=pd_sim_351_1

 

Find Janine Ashbless Here:

www.janineashbless.com

www.janineashbless.blogspot.com

https://www.facebook.com/Janine-Ashbless-author-page-140154696078980/

 

About Janine:

Janine Ashbless is a writer of fantasy erotica and steamy romantic adventure. She likes to write about magic and myth and mystery, dangerous power dynamics, borderline terror, and the not-quite-human.

Her work has been described as: “Hardcore and literate” (Madeline Moore) and “Vivid and tempestuous and dangerous, and bursting with sacrifice, death and love.” (Portia Da Costa)

 

 

The Voices in My Head by Janine Ashbless

tourbutton_fierceenchantmentsThe voices … the voices …

The really great thing about writing a collection of short stories is that you can stretch yourself in all sorts of directions, writing from many contrasting points of view.  In my Introduction, I warn the readers of my fantasy anthology Fierce Enchantments not to trust the narrators of the stories therein, and I mean it! Some of them are simply unreliable, some are ignorant of real-life modern moral standards, and some are downright wicked. You have to make your own judgment when reading the stories…

The book opens with a cold, cold voice – Too Much of Water is a fairy tale told in the embittered priggish tones of an old biddy sitting by the fire, warning her young audience not to go down the pagan primrose path to damnation. Some, in contrast, are burning hot: The Last Thing She Needs is an agonized, guilt-riddled confession by a sadist vampire-hunter who has bottled up both his lust and his love for years, not daring to confess what will truly make him whole. Guinevere in Knight Takes Queen is mired in a confused mess of a cuckolding triangle, because no one in Camelot has the vocabulary for bisexuality or BDSM, and they try to frame everything in terms of sin and honour. At Usher’s Well is drenched in rain and grief and pity, the narrative of a servant girl whose three lovers drown at sea … and then come back for one last tryst. The world of The Military Mind is a quasi-fascist future one where individual liberty and choice have been sidelined in favour of keeping the human race alive in the face of alien invasion – so psychic Peyton is prepped by a lifetime of biological and psychological conditioning to take up her role as comms officer and sexual plaything for a squad of horny marines.  The Merry Maid is another fairy story, but this one told with playful humour. And Sycorax is a Shakespearian tale retold by an inhuman monster: don’t expect any mercy or sympathy from her.

Just because these are ten smutilicious erotic tales doesn’t mean I want them to be true. Just because they are fantasy doesn’t mean I morally approve what goes on in them! But I do love listening to the protagonists’ many voices, however strange or frightening, and I love giving them shape on paper because I think they deserve to be heard.

xxx

Janine Ashbless

 

Fierce EnchantmentsExcerpt from Fierce Enchantments:

(from the story Sycorax)

 

But Prospero I have not forgotten. No.

The Isle is mine. It is the Omphalos—the navel of the world. I rule from the earth, by night. The sky above and the day: they belong to Ariel. Belonged, I should say. I … I think we had other names once, long ago. I do not remember them. It does not matter. All stories are leaves on one tree, and the branches may be long but they are all fed by the same roots. Names come and go, like dead leaves. It is perhaps better to forget them, in the end.

Are you hungry, little man? I have a haunch of meat here that is well-cooked and only a little gnawed upon.

Yes, it is from the wreck of your vessel.

Do not ask that. You are hungry, or not. And the night is long, and my story only just started.

Ariel ruled the Isle by day, and I ruled by night. At dusk and dawn we met, as husband and wife, to act out our carnal dreams. At sunset I would ride astride his long beam, and at sunrise he would pin me flat and plough my deeps. His seed came forth in great quantities, I recall—like sea spume, or like the white fluff of poplar-trees blown upon the wind. When I dug my long nails into his golden flesh, then the dawn would come up blood red.

I had many children by him. Have you not read that this Isle is full of noises? We are surrounded by legions; if you have not seen them yet, then it is because your mortal eyes are too dull. But this is the sorrow of it: Ariel let live only those babes I spawned that resembled him, that were of his delicate and airy nature. Those childer that bore my stamp—the dark and earthy, the heavy of flesh—those he hated, and devoured at first sight.

No. For years I bore this, until even I grew weary. And with age fewer and fewer babes were birthed at all. So when at last I whelped my youngest son Caliban, and saw that he favoured me and not his father, I knew that I must hide him to preserve his life.

Oh, have you seen my boy then? Don’t look so green. Think you he is ugly? I do not. Are not his teeth strong and keen? Isn’t his skin, hued with all the shot-silk colours of oil upon water, soft and smooth? The eyes that he opened upon me that first night, in such perfect trust, were as golden and beautiful as the eyes of a toad—and if two eyes are deemed lovely, must not many be even more enchanting?

I gave to Ariel a stone wrapped in blood-stained birthing cloths, and watched as he swallowed it whole. The babe I hid anew within the caverns of my body. And inside me, Caliban grew. But at last the night came when I could carry his weight no longer, so huge of limb was my child; so I birthed him a second time, half-grown. Even then, we both knew he was not safe. We went under cover of darkness to Ariel’s crag, and as the first light of the sun touched the sky with grey, Caliban seized his sire and I split a great pine tree, and together we thrust Ariel into the cleft and closed it tight. It was over in moments: when it was done Ariel was entrapped and my child was safe.

You think I played my husband false? Don’t bother to answer: I see it in your eyes. Well, you may be reassured to know that I have suffered great pangs over the years for my part in the betrayal. I missed his cock within me and his hands upon me; the ache of my loss brought forth great groans of anguish from my innermost being every dawn and dusk. For twelve long years.

That was when Prospero came to this Isle, with his infant daughter in his arms.

Listen well and mark this: the deposed Duke of Milan was no great sorcerer, however he styled himself afterwards. He was a second-rate alchemist—a mumbling book-wizard—a natural philosopher whose philosophy went no further than his own self-importance. But he was a man, and my cunt ached beyond bearing for the rough touch of a man. I saved his life, building him a cell in which to hide him from my own son; bringing him the fruits of the Island; fetching the contents of his leaky vessel from where it had foundered upon the rocks of the bay. I even let the girl-child live, though Caliban licked his drooling chops at the thought of such a tender mouthful. I forbade my boy to harm either of them.

In return I asked only that Prospero service my appetites. It was, I admit, not as easy for him as for my poor Ariel, for he was not so well-endowed. But he was a man of ingenuity and imagination, and where cock would not suffice, fist and forearm would. I demanded only that he persevere in his efforts.

In return for my mercy he betrayed me.

 

Cover Blurb for “Fierce Enchantments”

 

Inside the covers of this, Janine Ashbless’ third collection of erotic short stories, you will find delight and terror and lust – and perhaps even unexpected tenderness.

The wayward daughter of Shakespeare’s sorcerer Prospero; a runaway slave who becomes king only for as long as he can stay awake; a servant girl whose three dead lovers return for one last tryst; vampire-hunters haunted to the point of madness by what they have been through; warriors in a desperate future war for the survival of humankind – and one very dangerous frog prince – all appear in this collection of erotic stories that will take you to the edge and then pull you over into the glittering darkness beyond.

Weaving worlds of fantasy, Janine Ashbless draws from fairy stories, history, myth and the darkest depths of her imagination to bring you tales of passion and desire that will enchant, shock and dazzle you.

Buy links:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

 

Janine-AshblessBio:

Janine Ashbless is a writer of fantasy erotica and steamy romantic adventure – and that’s “fantasy” in the sense of swords ‘n’ sandals, contemporary paranormal, fairytale, and stories based on mythology and folklore.  She likes to write about magic and mystery, dangerous power dynamics, borderline terror, and the not-quite-human.

Janine has been seeing her books in print ever since 2000, and her novels and single-author collections now run into double figures. She’s also had numerous short stories published by Black Lace, Nexus, Cleis Press, Ravenous Romance, Harlequin Spice, Storm Moon, Xcite, Mischief Books, and Ellora’s Cave among others. She is co-editor of the nerd erotica anthology Geek Love.

Her work has been described as: “hardcore and literate” (Madeline Moore) and “vivid and tempestuous and dangerous, and bursting with sacrifice, death and love.”   (Portia Da Costa)

 

www.janineashbless.blogspot.com

Goodreads

Janine Ashbless Facebook

Amazon UK Author Page

Amazon US Author Page

 

 
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The Romance Reviews

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